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What to expect from the Everest Base Camp trek and is it worth it?
Reaching the foot of the highest mountains in the world is certainly an experience of a lifetime. Everest Base Camp trekking offers amazing cultural and scenic adventure in the Himalayas and is regarded as one of the greatest in the world and is known to amaze travelers.
EBC Trek unfolds gradually as you travel past busy cities, beautiful hill towns, traditional villages, ancient monasteries, rhododendron forests and to the foot of the majestic mountains. The trek as a whole is truly an experience of a lifetime. It will most certainly justify your efforts, time and money.
No wonder, Everest base camp trekking is your chance to explore and experience the culture, landscapes and scenery of the Everest region all the way up to the base camp of the worlds highest Mt Everest. Out of all the famous and adventurous treks, this trek has always been & is also considered one of the best treks in Nepal for a few decades now. The trek is favorable even for beginners and if you are an experienced trekker, you can combine the EBC with other destinations like Island Peak or Cho la Pass to make it more interesting and challenging.
The most popular EBC trekking route is Ktm – Lukla – Namche – Tengboche – Dingboche – Lobuche – Gorakshep – EBC. You have options when it comes to Everest Base Camp Trek routes and you can choose to trek via routes or destinations like following the path of first Mt Everest climbers.
Another famous EBC Trek route is the one followed by the first climbers of Mt Everest. Trekking starts from Jiri located in the North East of Kathmandu. After 8-9 days into the trek, you will reach Phakding on the regular Lukla trail of EBC.
Everest Base Camp Luxury trek is for those who do not want to compromise on accommodation. The luxury trek includes private accommodation in the best tea houses and lodges even on the higher altitudes.
Similarly, if you want to complete the trek in a short duration of 10-12 days, Short or Rapid Everest Base Camp Trek is for you. This is also known as budgeted EBC Trek. And, if you do not want to trek at all but want to reach the Everest base camp and view its amazing scenery, Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour is for you.
Treks like EBC with Island Peak Climb and EBC with Cho La pass are suited for experienced travelers. The treks are a fit to those who have already been to Everest Base Camp and want more challenge. Nonetheless, first timers and beginners can also complete these challenging treks.
There are plenty of options to reach the Everest base camp. You can combine the Everest Base Camp trek with other destinations (Gokyo Valley, Lakes, Cho la Pass) and activities (Island Peak Climb, Lobuche Peak Climb, Mera Peak Climb). Everest base camp trek map below shows the possible trekking routes.
The packages are all designed to fulfill needs of different travelers and adventurers. They are different in their routes, cost, activities, destinations and duration. It is up to you to choose the best trip that fits your needs and requirements.
Everest Base Camp Trekking Packages
- Everest Base Camp Trek
- Regular trek with normal itinerary and routes.
- Everest Base Camp Luxury Lodges Trek
- Designed for luxury travelers. Includes best quality accommodation & food.
- Classic Everest Base Camp Trek
- Reach Everest base camp through a classic trail.
- Rapid Everest Base Camp Trek
- Short EBC Trek for people who have less time.
- Gokyo Cho la Pass via Everest Base Camp Trek
- Combine Cho la pass with EBC for adventure.
- Three High Passes with Everest Base Camp Trek
- Trek through three highest passes and to EBC.
- Everest Base Camp Trek with Island Peak Climbing
- For complete trekking and climbing experience.
- Lobuche Peak Climb with Everest Base Camp Trek
- Easy peak climbing with Everest base camp trek.
- Everest Base Camp Helicopter Tour
- For those who do not want to trek but still want to experience Mt Everest base camp.
If neither one of the treks fits you, send us a message and we will design a trip to match your needs.
This is the most common and popular itinerary for the Everest Base Camp Trek. Check through the packages for other itineraries.
14 Days Everest Base Camp Trek Itinerary
- Day 01: Arrival at Kathmandu airport (1,340m).
- Day 02: At Kathmandu and trek preparations.
- Day 03: Fly to Lukla (2,820m) – 30 mins and trek to Phakding (2,635m) – 4 hrs.
- Day 04: Trek to Namche Bazaar (3,440m) – 6 hrs.
- Day 05: At Namche Bazaar rest day and a short hike to support acclimatization.
- Day 06: Trek to Thyangboche Monastery (3,867m) – 5 hrs.
- Day 07: Trek to Dingboche (4,350m) – 5 hrs.
- Day 08: Rest day at Dingboche for acclimatization and short excursion.
- Day 09: Trek to Lobuche (4,980m) – 5 hrs.
- Day 10: Trek to Gorakshep (5,180m) and to Everest base camp (5,364m) – 6 hrs.
- Day 11: Climb to Kala Patthar (5,545m) and walk to Pheriche (4,230m) – 8 hrs.
- Day 12: Trek to Namche Bazaar via Thyangboche. – 6 hrs.
- Day 13: Trek to Lukla. – 8 hrs.
- Day 14: Fly back to Kathmandu.
Food and Accommodation
In a city like Kathmandu, you will get plenty of options which range from cheap lodges to extravagant 5 star hotels and cuisines of all styles. However, once you move away from the city towards Everest Base Camp, the options for meals and accommodations will become limited.
The best accommodation available are tea houses and lodges. They provide basic facilities to eat and sleep. These places mostly serve traditional Nepali food “Daal Bhat Tarkari” (rice, pulses, and vegetables) and several other food varieties like Momo, Thukpa, and Thakali food. There are good lodges en route to Everest base camp and we make sure the lodges our guests stay in are the best. It is getting easier to find food and accomodation as the trek is becoming more famous over the years.
Lukla and Namche Bazaar offer low to high standard lodges and hotels. You will get all kinds of food from traditional Daal Bhat to pizzas and cakes, as it is the entry point for the trek. As you reach Tengboche, the options for food and accomodation lessen as the place has only few hotels and not so many items on the menu. The places like Pheriche, Gorakshep, Thukla and Lobuche are also similar, having lodges and tea houses with basic fooding and lodging. These places being near to the Everest base camp are mostly crowded and require early booking during peak seasons. And, it is always a good idea to carry a sleeping bag.
The food menu at places at higher altitudes of the trek usually include these.
Breakfast- Boiled eggs, Omelettes, toast with jam/honey/butter, tea, coffee, milk, pancakes, porridges, cornflakes, Tibetian bread, Chapati (Indian bread).
Lunch and Snacks- Dal Bhat (rice, lentil, vegetable and pickle), Soups, pasta, sandwiches, potatoes, burger, spring rolls, thukpa (noodles), momo, pizza.
Eating meat is questionable. Most travelers do not prefer meat as it is carried all the way up and is not fresh. So, advise you to enjoy eating meat while you are in Kathmandu. Carrying chocolates, protein bars, dry fruits, etc definitely helps.
Everything available in these remote villages and hilltowns is either sent through planes & helicopters or carried by people and animals. So, you may have to compromise a little for this adventure in the mountainous region. It is not possible to find everything and anything but we will try our best to ensure you the best available accommodation and tasty & nutritious meals during/after the trek.
Internet and Communication
Wi-Fi and other major communication options are easily available in major cities and even in some villages on your trek. Using Wifi may cost you extra in some remote places.
Wifi, charging and hot showers are available and mostly free in Kathmandu but you may need to pay extra for these during the EBC trek. You can use mobile data in some places too. However, we advise you to enjoy the walk while you are on the trek.
How can I trek to Everest Base Camp?
There are few ways to hike to Everest base camp. You can choose to trek with an agency, trek completely independent or trek by only hiring guide/porters. First timers are not recommended to trek independently. Everest base camp with a trekking agency includes programs starting and ending at Kathmandu. These are your options to reach EBC:
Fly to Lukla and trek to EBC
You can reach Lukla from Kathmandu on a Flight. You can then trek towards EBC starting from Lukla through Namche, Tengboche, Dingboche, Pheriche and EBC.
Drive to Salleri or Jiri and trek to EBC
You can also drive to Jiri located in Dolakha district or to Salleri (lower Solukhumbu) and start trekking towards Everest region. The trekking route is longer and you will be able to explore a lot more than regular hike to Everest Base Camp.
Fly directly to Syangboche or Everest Base Camp
While you are highly recommended to trek, you can also reach EBC directly on a Helicopter. If you do not want to trek, this is the best option for you. You can also choose to trek to Everest Base Camp and then return on a helicopter if you do not want to trek back.
Internal Flight Delays and flights to Lukla
Due to the geographical diversity and unpredictable climate in the Himalayas, the internal flights are often delayed or cancelled. Weather conditions like heavy rainfall, storms, or fog can disrupt the flights. So, it is wise to spare an extra day or two as buffer days, in case of flight delays and cancellations. Likewise, it is also necessary to note that the weather conditions are great during spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November) seasons. If you have enough time, you can also choose road transportation in such cases.
Due to the Air Traffic at Tribhuvan International Airport, all flights to and from Lukla will now be operated from Ramechhap Airport, which is 4-hour drive from Kathmandu. The transportation to/from Ramechhap will be provided by the agency. It is good to keep a few extra days for the trek in case of flight delay or cancellation.
Trekking Guide for Everest Base Camp
If you are not an experienced trekker, you might be better off trekking with a guide and/or porter. Even experienced trekkers need help from guides and porters to complete the trek safely and without difficulties. Normally, the cost of guides and porters are included in a trekking package.
Most people can not carry a lot of weight during the trek or some may not even want to and for this, they hire a porter. Hire professional licensed guides and porters for the trek.
You are not just hiring a guide or a porter. The guides and porters will also be your trekking buddy, a friend, a listener and someone who helps you throughout your trek and to create an experience of a lifetime.
EBC Trek Difficulty, Duration and Distance
The trek to the foot of the world’s highest mountain’s foot is not going to be easy. EBC trek difficulty can be graded as moderately difficult. People from all ages have done this trek. It does require some preparation to ensure you can walk for 6-7 hours in the mountains and hills for around 10 days. Some people (who have completed the trek) say that preparations are not necessary. But, we encourage you to work on your fitness (if you don’t already) to ensure a successful trip.
The trek is a long & moderately difficult hike to a maximum altitude of 5545m. The trek is not so difficult as some may see it but you need to be prepared physically and mentally. Prior experience in trekking or hiking will help you on this trek.
The trek requires you to walk 80 miles in around 10 days through the hills and mountains. As mentioned earlier, you should be able to walk for 6-7 hours per day on average for 8-10 days. For some, it is easy while for some it may be somewhat challenging.
Stamina and endurance are necessary. Hiking, swimming and engaging in other physical activities or sports is a good idea to prepare if you feel you are not ready. Consulting a professional (physician/doctor) is advised if you have any concerns regarding your health and fitness.
Altitude of the Trek
Trekking starts as you reach Lukla at 2820m. You will then gradually trek through Namche Bazaar (3,440m), Thyangboche Monastery (3,867m), Dingboche (4,350m), Lobuche (4,980m), Gorakshep (5,180m), Everest base camp at 5,364m, Kala Patthar (5,545m), Pheriche (4,230m), Namche Bazaar and finally Lukla. It is better to have days for acclimatization at altitudes above 3000 meters and most people rest and acclimatize at Namche Bazaar and Dingboche. Everest Base Camp sits at an altitude of 5365 meters and the highest point is Kala Patthar is at 5545 meters. You will gain 400-800 meters on a daily basis. Below is the altitude chart of the trek.
Altitude Sickness on the Everest Base Camp Trek
Trekking to the Everest base camp can be challenging. Acclimatizing and resting at higher altitudes can help you avoid altitude sickness. We are aware of particular places where you need to stay to acclimatize. You should walk slowly and steadily to complete the trek without difficulties.
In the case of AMS, we have crews who are experts in dealing with altitude sickness effectively and smartly. In case of emergency situations, you will be taken to the nearest hospital or to Kathmandu by a helicopter.
Altitude sickness should be considered while trekking to EBC. We design our itinerary to match your safety needs. So, we acclimatize and rest (2 places for regular 15 days EBC trek) to avoid AMS. We have seen people of all backgrounds, profession and physique complete the Everest base camp trek. And with the right plan and preparation for Everest Base Camp Trek, you can do it!
How can you pre-respond to Altitude Sickness on EBC Trek?
- Consulting your physician before the trek.
- Informing our crews on feeling uneasy.
- Walking in groups so that you can help each other.
- Carrying Diamox (Acetazolamide).
- Travel Insurance.
- Acclimatizing and resting before heading towards high altitudes.
People and culture
Owing to the diverse cultural following, people in the Everest region follow different cultures, traditions, and religion and still live with a sense of togetherness. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity are mostly famous, with Hindus and Buddhist having the highest numbers. Solukhumbu areas are mostly populated by Buddhists and culture similar to Tibetian.
One thing in common with Nepalese no matter what culture they are following is their hospitality. People in the region abide by their ethos that “Guests are our gods” so, be ready to be greeted with shy but warm smiles and helpful hands in your journey. You will get to know more about life in the mountains. People are amazing and they’ll do their part to help you take back fantastic memories of your time in Nepal.
Best time to hike to Everest Base Camp Trek
Spring from February to May and Autumn from September to November are considered the best time for Everest Base Camp Trek. Clear views and warm days during these months make trekking favorable.
Everest Base Camp Trek Weather from February to May is perfect to walk around Khumbu areas. The forests are blooming with rhododendron. The daytime is mostly clear for scenic views and photographs. The minimum temperature around high altitude areas is 0° C at nights to maximum 20° C in daytime. Mornings and evenings can be cold, depending upon the altitude and there are slight chances of showers and snow sometimes.
You can also choose to trek to EBC in Autumn. The days are mostly clear and the months of winter can be very cold at altitudes above 2,800m. The temperatures can reach the freezing point of minimum -10° C during nights to a maximum 15° C with small hours of sunlight. The days are clear for views and walks.
Trekking to EBC in winter and monsoon can be challenging. Sometimes, the trek may not be accessible in the extreme weather conditions. You might be affected by delays and uncertainties in flights, roads and trekking trails weather during these months. Heavy snowfall and rainfall may also affect the trek. It is better to know about the accessibility and availability of the trek beforehand during extreme winters and monsoon.
EBC trek can be done at almost all seasons and months but there are uncertainties during monsoon (wet months from mid-June to mid-September) and extreme winters (Mid December to Mid January).
If you need information about availability, weather & free consulting for the EBC trip, Inquire Us.
Trekking to EBC through a local operator
If you know the country well enough and can organize the trek all by yourself then you can trek to EBC without agency while saving some money. However, trekking through a local operator surely has some benefits. Trek operators can help you save a lot of hassles, time and money (Yes, $$$). You can also choose from some specific services of the operator. Trekking through a local agency ensures to reduce hassles for arranging permits, accomodation and transport. So, it is a good idea to trek through a trekking agency to be on the safe side. We will plan and operate a perfect, safe and secure trek while you can relax, explore and enjoy.
Group size for Everest base camp trek can be anywhere from 1 to 15 people. The standard costs are set for the groups of 2 or more people. Early bookings (like a week before) are recommended if your group size exceeds 10 people.
When you are trekking alone through an agency, you can also join a group. This is also known as Fixed Departure.This can be explained as – ‘The agency has a chosen fixed date to start the trek and people join the trip (group). OR in other cases the agency finds a group and arranges for you to join in with other people’. This can help you to reduce costs as you can share guide, porter and other services.
Trekking Crews: Guides and Porters
Most of the trek operators provide guides and porters. A porter is for every two members of the group and will be carrying a backpack (not more than 25 kgs). We offer trekking guides that are English speaking, government registered and well-trained. Trekking crews are knowledgeable around the trek, destinations, responsible and eco-friendly tourism. Also, sometimes an assistant guide is provided (call is Sherpa) for people in the group of 4 or more.
What do I pack for the EBC Trek?
Many people are confused about what to pack for the Everest Base Camp Trek. Luckily, we have compiled a perfect Everest Base Camp packing list for you based on the experiences of previous trekkers.
Everest Base Camp Trek Cost
Trekking in Nepal is cheaper than trekking in other nations. Everest base camp trek cost depends on many factors like days, trek route, modes of transport accommodation, food, and many more. These factors make up the total costs of the Everest base camp trek. Everest base camp trek 14 days cost is around $1400 with regular services (accommodation, transport). The prices will go up as you increase the quality or quantity of services.
If you want to travel alone, the cost of hiking to the Everest base camp can be comparatively lower. But you should be able to manage all the services you need for the trek. The below information is for Everest base camp guided trek but it also gives an idea of the cost for independent trekkers. If you want to know more, costs of trekking in Nepal and EBC Trek Costs will help.
Trekking permit and visa costs
The visa for 15 days costs USD 30, USD 50 for 30 days, and USD 125 for 90 days. If your visa is about to expire but you are not yet done exploring the country, you can get your visa extended for USD 3 per day and if your visa has already expired, it costs USD 5 per day.
You will need these permits for trekking to Everest Base Camp:
- Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit
- Cost: NPR 2,000 per person
- Sagarmatha National Park Permit
- Cost: NPR 3,000 per person
Khumbu Pasang Lhamu Rural Municipality Permit can be obtained in Lukla and Monjo. The permit is not issued in Kathmandu.
Sagarmatha National Park permit can be obtained either in Kathmandu or in the entrance of the park at Monjo. You can get the national park permit from Nepal Tourism Board, Kathmandu.
Passports are required to issue the permits. We, Heaven Nepal Adventure can also arrange the permits for the Everest base camp trek if necessary.
Guides and Porter costs
Hiring guides and porters is a good idea if you do not want to enjoy the trek and want to reduce hassles. The guide and porters will help you with anything during your trek from carrying your backpack and showing you the way to arranging accommodation and transports.
You can either hire independent guides or book a trekking package. The cost for hiring a guide for the Everest base camp trek is $25 – $40 per day. This cost varies with experience, trekking route and seasonality. For guides, the cost is $20 – $40 again depending on factors like routes and season. If you are booking through a trekking agency, the cost will include the cost of guides and porters.
Food and Accomodation Costs
Everest region has plenty of tea houses and lodges but they are packed in peak seasons. The lower altitude areas like Lukla, Kathmandu and Namche Bazaar offer options for food and accomodation. But once you start to reach altitudes higher than 3000m, the options are limited. Bringing dry fruits, chocolates and bars is definitely a good idea. You should be careful in what you eat and are advised to carry water purifiers. Not getting sick is a challenge for anyone who has less experience in the mountains.
The cost of everyday food and accomodation for the Everest Base Camp Trek is around $30. This is usually enough for 3 meals and few miscellaneous expenses per day.
The flight to Lukla is the only transport (apart from travelling to Kathmandu from your country) you will be needing for the regular Everest base camp trek. The flight from Kathmandu to Lukla costs around $180. Incase of road transport, reaching Jiri or Salleri or Ramechap from Kathmandu will cost you around $50 on a local transport. Similarly, hiring a private vehicle will be costlier.
Trekking gears costs
Trekking gears are needed for hiking to the Everest Base Camp like any other trek. The gears are necessary but may vary according to your needs. The total cost of trekking gears for EBC trekking will be around $2000 to $3000 if you intend to buy them all. But, you may already have plenty of trekking gears and that definitely means you won’t have to buy them all. Trekking shoes, windproof jackets, trekking trousers, gloves and sunglasses are some of the necessary ones.
Most of the trekking gear will also be available for hire in Thamel, Kathmandu and you can hire or buy the ones you need during your stay in Kathmandu. Check our Everest Base Camp packing list so that you do not miss anything. This is a general list and you may include/exclude stuffs according to your needs.
Travel Insurance for the Trek
Trekking in Nepal is surely an experience not to miss but this comes at a risk. Like any other trekking routes and destinations, the Everest base camp trek has challenges and difficulties. Various unexpected circumstances have a chance in the Himalayas. Insurance is thus a necessity while trekking in Nepal especially if for beginners.
30 days travel insurance costs around $150. This type of insurance is generally enough for Everest Base Camp Trek and also for other treks to Nepal as it covers all requirements up to altitude of 6000m. Research insurance policies in detail and make sure it covers all requirements for the trek before purchasing.
International flights are only available through the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Flight is the easiest way to enter Nepal.
You have two options traveling by land, via India and China. There is also a direct railway line connecting India and Nepal along with several bus facilities for traveling across the border from India. Traveling by road through India is the most easily accessible. You can travel to Nepal through Sunauli- Bhairahawa, Raxaul – Birgunj, Siliguri- Kakarbhitta, Banbasa – Mahendranagar, or Bahraich- Nepalgunj. Kodari and Kerung are two entry/exit points stationed at the Nepal-Tibet border.
Tourist visas for Nepal can be obtained either in your home country’s (Nepalese Diplomatic Missions) or you can also get an arrival visa at the Kathmandu airport. The visa for 15 days costs USD 30, USD 50 for 30 days, and USD 125 for 90 days. If your visa is about to expire but you are not yet done exploring the country, you can get your visa extended for USD 3 per day and if your visa has already expired, it costs USD 5 per day.
Find more info about Nepal Visa at: http://www.nepalimmigration.gov.np/post/notice-regarding-visa-fee-updates.
This EBC Trek guide is compilation of years of experience from organizing and operating Everest Base Camp Treks. If you have any queries or require any information on this trek or any other treks in Nepal, do not hesitate to contact us.